Don't make yourself a target - be street smart - IMAGE - Women's Health & Fitness

Self defence in practice

After offering no resistance to a verbal threat to hand over money, this woman is confronted by a violent onslaught from an attacker.

She starts to lift her hands to protect her face from a threatened strike from the attacker.

In the process of lifting her hands to defend herself, she also offers a proactive response by kicking the much larger and stronger attacker in the groin to take him off balance.

Immediately turning her attention to the attacker's knee, she further unbalances him with a focused kick, taking the aggressor to the ground.

Using strong leveraged force, she can capably control, dislocate or break the assailant's elbow using a locking technique.

Sydney woman Adori Bubble was inspired to learn self-defence after witnessing an assault. "I saw one of my friends get attacked. Feeling that I had stood back too long before intervening, I was motivated to learn some self-defence."

Case study

Her newfound skills in the martial art, Krav Maga, quickly came in handy. "It was 9am and I was walking to work. I was approached by a homeless man asking for change. I refused him and it turned ugly. I remembered some of the Tactical Krav Maga that I'd learnt thus far and threw my hot coffee in his face. It was enough to make him run across six lanes of traffic just to get away from me."

Consider these tips:

  • There's safety in numbers. A woman walking down a street or through a park by herself is more prone to attack than a group. Even if you are walking down the street behind a group of people that you don't really know, tag along behind so that it appears that you are part of the group.
  • Yell 'fire!'. Unfortunately, these days when someone calls for help, people don't want to get involved. Fire is a natural enemy (and resource) of humans. When we hear someone yelling 'fire' everyone looks. With all these eyes now looking at you, the attacker's plan has been spoilt.
  • Another important strategy is not to look submissive. Consider the mentality of the pack animal. The more submissive the victim, the more powerful the attacker and his plan of attack. This is more effective before or during an attack. Even if you feel terrified, don't show it.
  • The best blocking technique is very simple: don't be there. If you feel something is wrong, it probably is. Some places you go feel good. Some do not; they feel cold or awkward. Listen to your gut and get out of there.
  • Manage your keys. When you go to get in your car, have your keys at the ready; especially in car parks and lonely areas, not only should you have your car keys out before you get to your car, you should hold the key ring in the palm of your hand with one key between your second and third fingers protruding like a small knife. It is not really enough to kill anyone with, but it will certainly hurt when used in a stabbing action, and is a good self-defence tool.
  • Be careful what you wear and where you wear it. Every one has the legal right to wear practically anything they want. But common sense should also be used. If you are going out in revealing garments or jewellery, fine. But wear a jacket or similar covering while you are alone.

Dialling 000 connects you directly to emergency services. This even works when the keypad is locked. You can yell out what is happening and where you are without revealing that you are even using your phone. And, if you don't disconnect, emergency services may be able to track your phone. In any case of assault or attempted assault, report it. It may prevent it happening to the next person.

Self defence information provided by Andrew Sands a 5th dan belt in Hapkido and Taekwondo from AJS Self Defence www.selfdefence.com.au. Sequence provided by Jan de Jong Martial arts www.jandejong.com.au